Holistic medicine consists of the principle that there is much more to a person than just his body. Instead of merely treating a specific condition, holistic medicine focuses on treating the entire person – his body, his mind, and his spiritual nature. Holistic medicine usually includes the idea that natural methods of treatment are better than, and preferable to, pharmaceutical treatment whenever possible.
Homeopathy is one form of holistic medicine. An aspect of homeopathic medicine is to treat a condition by aggravating its symptoms. The belief is that by doing this, the condition will begin to heal itself. Although practitioners of homeopathic medicine claim that it is beneficial, the traditional medical community does not take a positive view of it.
Aromatherapy is a popular form of holistic medicine. The belief is that various scents can be an aid in healing numerous conditions, as well as enhancing a person’s overall health. Natural products are used for this purpose.
Meditation is a form of holistic medicine which also claims numerous benefits. The state of the mind and body during meditation is said to provide a sense of relaxation and peace which can lead to an overall sense of well being and the good health that accompanies it.
Acupuncture has been practiced throughout the centuries. Needles are placed at specific points in the body which correspond with specific internal organs, or the condition a person is suffering from. While its ability to help a person to recover from various medical conditions is debatable, in many cases it can provide relief from pain.
Reflexology operates on a principle similar to acupuncture, but uses the application of pressure to external parts of the body instead of needles. Specific parts of the feet and hands are believed to correspond with the internal organs. These are sometimes referred to as the reflex spots. Reflexology is said to have the ability to heal many medical conditions, as well as to assist the person in attaining optimum health.
While there is a wide range of practices and beliefs which fall into the category of holistic medicine, these are amongst the most popular forms currently practiced in the United States. It should be noted that few medical doctors endorse any kind of alternative treatment.
Although some forms of holistic medicine have been practiced throughout the ages and others are relatively new, most of the medical community considers alternative medicine to be less effective than traditional medicine at best, and potentially dangerous at its worst. While these forms of holistic medicine would not be considered harmful to the average, healthy person, and can even be beneficial, they should not be taken as a substitute for traditional treatment of serious medical conditions.
The best way to look at it is, as the practice is often called, holistic health. All of these practices can enhance your overall sense of good health, but if you have a legitimate medical condition it is better for you to consult with your doctor rather than risk the condition worsening while you are relying on alternative medicine.